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Originally posted September 6, 2014. Written by Dena Evans.
Updated by Ashley Benson

Technology has improved our lives in myriad ways.  GPS devices have allowed us to track our endurance efforts, recording our pace, distance, heart rate, and many more metrics besides.  While providing a wealth of information, our relationship with the technology can become complicated and far more entangled than we could have possibly imagined.   These devices are best as a tool to help us train effectively and analyze where we have gone.  While possible that your GPS device can provide some accountability, take this quiz and see where you are on the spectrum of maintaining a healthy balance and perspective with your wrist-born tech.

 

Do you always round off your runs or walks to an exactly even number (5.00 miles, 3.50 miles exactly, 40 miles precisely for the week, etc), even if you are doing a lap around the parking lot or go up and down your driveway three times?

If your answer is yes, you probably enjoy order over chaos, and completion of your goals.  You might also like to look at tidy numbers on the screen. None of that is bad in and of itself, but it is always good to remember that training has a purpose and shuffling in circles for 27 meters to make a full mile doesn’t really make you any more prepared for the race.  Consider spending a week where you purposely don’t end on an even number in any run.  Encourage yourself that your achievement of the total includes the experience of the effort along the way and that your training need not be 100% perfect 100% of the time to be in a position to achieve your goals on race day!

Do you have a floor or ceiling pace under or over which you never go on training run / walk days?

If your answer is yes, you probably are trying to faithfully complete your training efforts at the paces prescribed by your runcoach pace chart.  However, always make sure that you listen to your body.  If you have a sore / tight muscle, feel tired from the prior day’s workout, are sick, or have another legitimate reason to be in true recovery mode, it is fine to slow dow.  Occasionally what felt like your easy pace turns out to be 30 seconds per mile or more.  Recovery is key to being prepared for the next hard day.  Sometimes, that requires doing a little less and easing off a bit (and being ok with that when you look at your watch).

Now that you have a GPS device on your wrist or in the palm of your hand, do you find yourself checking your pace almost reflexively every 50 meters along your route?

If this sounds like you, you might be just excited to have a cool toy to consult. But, with constant reliance on the watch or app (which is not always 100% accurate due to trees, weather, and other factors), you might also be at risk for missing a chance to understand and gain a feel for what your race pace or other paces might be.  While you might want to keep careful track of your mileage, occasionally pick a route you of which you already know the distance, and run it without your watch, gauging your effort based on what you perceive to be the pace.  You can log the miles accurately as you have measured it previously and using your total time, can figure the pace. However, you have taken an opportunity during the run to stay in touch with your instincts and listen to your body.

Do you avoid certain routes because of spotty satellite reception (and the shorter distances/ slower paces you might be given credit for on your device as a result)?

If your answer is yes to this one, you are human! We all like to see our best selves recorded and the greatest return on our efforts.  However, if the preoccupation with the numbers is causing you to miss out on tree covered paths, excellent trail running, and safe routes on bike paths that travel through tunnels, consider mapping these on the computer and manually entering in the distances, or just noting your estimated differences when uploading your info.

Data is helpful, but we should not become overly reliant on it.  As humans, we can use machines and technology to help us to our goals, but nothing replaces the individual effort and commitment we all need to achieve our goals on the day.  Continue to trust in your ability and instincts. Let your GPS devices and apps be tools, but only one of many, in your arsenal.


 

 


Virtual races and time trials have been the medicine of choice for athletes like Ward who are missing the excitment of racing. As the race scene is still uncertain, we encourage everyone to test their speed and endurance through a self-timed race. You are working hard, why not snag a shiney new personal best? 

Ward's Recap of his recent time trial to Coach Tom:
ward_V2"I took my local coach, Susan (also wife of 45 years!) to the local high school track. As we squeezed through the locked gate, I said "Welcome to my world!"

She was only mildly amused as she crawled free of the gate. Laughing

The weather conditions were good - partly cloudy, slight breeze and temperature in the mid to upper 70's. Track was empty. I had rested all week - no runs (although I do a lot of physical labor - I am the "custodian" of a log cabin and 31 acre piece of property).

I set my 400m splits up to run a 7:25 1,600.

Here are my actual splits (per 400 meters):

1:50.74
1:50.52
1:44.58
1:38.58   
Final time = 7:04.42 !!!!

My heart rate steadily climbed up to 150, 155, 160. My max heart rate during the run was 168. It peaked as I "sprinted" (a generous term) down the final 50 m.

It was a very good effort. I did not have much left in the tank at the end and was running very close to my maximum effort (as much as you can do by yourself).

I also had my assistant take some short videos of me running towards camera, away from camera, and from the side. I thought you might like to examine my stride (if not my wonderful Covid haircut and Dave Wottle golf cap!*)

Conclusions:
1. My stride, as I suspected, is where I have lost most of my speed. I guess because I am weaker, my legs don't propel me as far with each step. My tempo is the same, my stride is much shorter. I look like an OLD MAN. I am an OLD man!

2. My max HR is probably about 170

3. I can run a sub-7 minute 1,600 m

Thank you for the challenge Coach!

-Ward




hydrateSummer is one of the best seasons to be a runner.  Enjoy it to the fullest by taking care of these basics.

 

Winter weather often requires the use of treadmills and other indoor facilities, but summer’s heat or thunderstorms may also force you to the air-conditioned sanctuary of the gym.  Here are a few helpful things to remember about how to adjust when running indoors.

Highlights:
- Treadmills are not the enemy
- Bring entertainment (music, movie, book, podcast)
- Bring your own sanitizer (always clean any touchpoint, equipment before use)
- Treadmill belt if softer and less impact that running outside
- Set the incline to 1-2% on the machine 
- Ease into the run. Start nice and slow. 
- Hydrate well and often. Aim to take 3-4 ounces of water every 25-30 minutes.

If running indoors may not be an option, but running outdoors is not either, you may be in a spot where cross training is in order to maintain fitness.  What cross training activity makes the most sense?  Compare and contrast the vast array of currently available options available in gyms today.

 

Heading out on some adventurous runs or driving trips that might include a bunch of miles?  Consider this list of things you might not consider, but can be VERY helpful for runners who are spending a lot of time in the car.

 

All that humidity might leave you a bit sweaty.  Before you deal with the after effects of some serious chafing, read our quick Q&A with a dermatologist about chafing and how to avoid it.  

 

While one of the most obvious topics for summer running, hydration is always worth keeping in mind, particularly if your average fluid consumption consists primarily of coffee or diet coke! Use the summer to build some good habits and read about the “art of hydration” here.

 

 

 

 



Here's another reason to keep exercising!

Effects of aerobic exercise training on cognitive function and cortical vascularity in monkeys

This study examined whether regular exercise training, at a level that would be recommended for middle-aged people interested in improving fitness could lead to improved cognitive performance and increased blood flow to the brain in another primate species.



Please have your Fitbit login information ready and follow these steps:

For RUNCOACH USERS

1. Tap the Three Lines (on top left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "Device Sync"
3. Tap "Sync with Fitbit.".
4.Log into your Fitbit account and grant access.

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select drop down on the top right of the page
3. Select "Device Sync" from the upper Right-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Fitbit" as the service option.
5.Log into your fitbit account and authorize the permissions

Make sure that you have the most recent version of the Movecoach or Runcoach App for iOS or Android.

FOR MOVECOACH USERS

  • On your mobile device:

    1. Tap the Me icon (on the bottom-left corner of your phone screen).
    2. Select "More."
    3. Select "Sync A Service."
    4. Tap "Sync with Fitbit."

    From the web, on a computer:

    1. Login.
    2. Select "Training" from the top of the screen.
    3. Select "Sync a Service" from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
    4. Select "Fitbit" as the service option.

After your initial sync with Fitbit, your data will be imported immediately. Subsequent syncs occur once per hour throughout the day. At that time all the data since your most-recent sync will be uploaded to your Movecoach or Runcoach log.



Please have your Strava login information ready.

FOR RUNCOACH USERS

1. Tap the Three Lines (on top left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "Device Sync"
3. Tap "Sync with Strava.".
4.Log into your Strava account and grant access.

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select drop down on the top right of the page
3. Select "Device Sync" from the upper Right-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Strava" as the service option.
5.Log into your Strava account and authorize the permissions

Please make sure that you have the most recent versions of the Movecoach or Runcoach App for Android or iOS (iPhone).

FOR MOVECOACH USERS

On your mobile device:

1. Tap the Me icon (on the bottom-left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "More."
3. Select "Sync A Service."
4. Tap "Sync with Strava."

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select "Training" from the top of the screen.
3. Select "Sync a Service" from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Strava" as the service option.

This action will take you to the Strava website. Log in and follow the instructions.

After your initial sync with Strava, your data will be imported immediately. Subsequent syncs occur as soon as you upload your workouts. At that time all the data since your most-recent sync will be uploaded to your Movecoach or Runcoach log.



Please have your Runkeeper login information ready.

FOR RUNCOACH USERS

1. Tap the Three Lines (on top left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "Device Sync"
3. Tap "Sync with Runkeeper.".
4.Log into your Runkeeper account and grant access.

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select drop down on the top right of the page
3. Select "Device Sync" from the upper Right-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Runkeeper" as the service option.
5.Log into your Runkeeper account and authorize the permissions

Please make sure that you have the most recent versions of the Movecoach or Runcoach App for Android or iOS (iPhone).

FOR MOVECOACH USERS

On your mobile device:

  • 1. Tap the Me icon (on the bottom-left corner of your phone screen).
    2. Select "More."
    3. Select "Sync A Service."
    4. Tap "Sync with Runkeeper."

    From the web, on a computer:

    1. Login.
    2. Select "Training" from the top of the screen.
    3. Select "Sync a Service" from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
    4. Select "Runkeeper" as the service option.

This action will take you to the Runkeeper website, log in and follow the instructions.

After your initial sync with Runkeeper, your data will be imported immediately to your Runcoach or Movecoach log. Subsequent syncs are manual. All data since your most-recent sync will be added to your log.



For some of us, inside running is a regular strategy. Work routine, location, time crunch, tough weather, safety precautions, rehabbing an injury, are all reasons to choose to the "Mill".  Wheter you are a regular or a newbie, here are a few thoughts on how to make the most of your time on a treadmill.

Treadmill Tips

hiruni_TMAny first timer on a treadmill can attest that the ride is slightly different than the ground in a variety of ways.  To account for these variances, we generally recommend some slight adjustments.  Without the wind resistance encountered when moving forward outside, the pace might feel a bit easier on a treadmill than on your normal run.  To approximate an equivalent demand, adjust the incline of the treadmill 1%-2%.

The second important consideration when running on a treadmill is attentiveness to your form.  With the ground traveling underneath and often a softer landing than most outdoor running surfaces, the body can easily tilt into various, slightly unfamiliar positions. If possible, run on a machine where you can gauge your posture in a mirror or reflecting window.  Try to keep yourself tall, with your weight over your feet.  The only thing worse than grumbling about running on a treadmill is grumbling about being injured because you were running strangely on a treadmill.  Attention to your form might even help you when you go outside again and have a clear, fresh picture of what your good form looks and feels like.

Because of the weather and the limitations of running indoors, you may have to adjust your workout a bit. 
> Increase the incline between 4 to 8%. The tougher grade can yield the raised heart rate you were looking for with your speed workout.
> Adjust your pace based on machine. If you are on an older treadmill don't try to run full speed. Instead make your interval longer by 1:00.
> If you are doing a tempo on the treadmill, start off 5-7 seconds slower. The belt can make you feel like you're moving your legs faster than normal. This will prevent you from pulling a hammy!


Runcoach Coach and Elite Marathoner, Coach Hiruni reports that treadmill workouts have definitely made an impact for her in the past years.  “One of the reasons I love the treadmill is that it is the best pacer in the industry. I live at altitude in a very hilly area. I can pace myself and stay on the target best when I use a treadmill. It keeps me honest and focued". 
To adjust your prescribed runcoach workout to a treadmill setting by manipulating the grade and pace, try using a treadmill pace conversion chart such as this one from HillRunner.com.  No two treadmills are exactly alike, so keep in mind you may have to make some slight adjustments with your machine.

Bad Weather and No Treadmill?

Occasionally, drastic situations may call for creative solutions.  If you are unable to run outside due to conditions and a treadmill isn’t available, all may not be lost.  If you are in an urban setting with a series of connected indoor walkways between office buildings, or within a long shopping mall, you may be able to just duck your head at curious onlookers and get at least a few easy miles in indoors.  Convention centers and long hotel hallways can even provide a last ditch opportunity on occasion.  Nike headquarters actually has a hallway where their athletes can run long strides and do so on a regular basis.  Tell that to anyone who questions you! 

The key is your safety above all. Make sure to be aware of variables like traffic, light, bacl ice, etc..   None of these options are ideal, but typically conditions which prevent the completion of a workout are temporary and a bridging solution might end up being better than nothing.

 



Our system syncs with all Garmin devices, including those with GPS (through Garmin Connect), and those Vivo Smart devices (through Garmin Wellness). You'll find directions below for both devices.

FOR RUNCOACH USERS

1. Tap the Three Lines (on top left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "Device Sync"
3. Tap "Sync with Garmin Connect or  or Garmin Health.".
4. Log into your Garmin account and grant access.

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select drop down on the top right of the page
3. Select "Device Sync" from the upper Right-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Garmin Connect or Garmin Health" as the service option.
5.Log into your Garmin account and authorize the permissions

FOR MOVECOACH USERS

Garmin Devices with no activity trackers (Garmin Connect)
Make sure that you have the most recent versions of the Movecoach or Runcoach App for Android or iOS (iPhone).

On your mobile device:

1. Tap the Me icon (on the bottom-left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "More."
3. Select "Sync A Service."
4. Tap "Sync with Garmin Connect."

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select "Training" from the top of the screen.
3. Select "Sync a Service" from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Garmin Connect" as the service option.

This action will take you to the Garmin Connect website.  Log in and follow the instructions.

Initially, it takes 72 Hours for data from Garmin Connect to be uploaded to your Movecoach or Runcoach log. This wait is part of Garmin’s process. After the initial sync, Garmin will automatically import data into your log every time you sync your Garmin device with Garmin Connect.    

*Remember: Your workouts are uploaded from the server of each syncing service, not the device that you wear. In order to upload your activity to your Movecoach or Runcoach training log, you must regularly sync your device to Garmin's web platform.    

For Garmin Devices with Activity Trackers (The Vivo Series via Garmin Wellness)
Make sure that you have the most recent versions of the Movecoach or Runcoach App for Android or iOS (iPhone).

Have your Garmin Wellness login information ready.

On your mobile device:

1. Tap the Me icon (on the bottom-left corner of your phone screen).
2. Select "More."
3. Select "Sync A Service."
4. Tap "Sync with Garmin Wellness."

From the web, on a computer:

1. Login.
2. Select "Training" from the top of the screen.
3. Select "Sync a Service" from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
4. Select "Garmin Wellness" as the service option.

This action will take you to the Garmin Wellness website.  Log in and follow the instructions. Initially, it will take 72 hours for your Garmin Wellness data to be imported to your log. (This is part of Garmin’s process). After that, Garmin will automatically import step data and GPS data into your log.




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